Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cross dyke on Barpham Hill, 600m north west of Lower Barpham

A Scheduled Monument in Angmering, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8762 / 50°52'34"N

Longitude: -0.4853 / 0°29'7"W

OS Eastings: 506662.254309

OS Northings: 109616.230304

OS Grid: TQ066096

Mapcode National: GBR GK7.XTQ

Mapcode Global: FRA 96WS.DR6

Entry Name: Cross dyke on Barpham Hill, 600m north west of Lower Barpham

Scheduled Date: 3 July 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015715

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29248

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Angmering

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Burpham St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes an east-west aligned cross dyke constructed across a
ridge which forms part of the Sussex Downs. The c.246m long cross dyke, which
coincides with the Burpham/Angmering parish boundary, has a ditch up to c.9m
wide and c.1.2m deep, flanked on its southern side by a bank up to c.6m wide
and c.1.5m high. A well preserved counterscarp bank up to c.4m wide and c.0.4m
high runs along the northern lip of the ditch. The original entrance through
the dyke is represented by a simple, centrally placed gap of c.5m. Two later,
ridge-top tracks have partly levelled the earthworks, and the western end of
the monument has been partly disturbed by past ploughing.
The modern fences which cross the monument are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Cross dykes are substantial linear earthworks typically between 0.2km and 1km
long and comprising one or more ditches arranged beside and parallel to one or
more banks. They generally occur in upland situations, running across ridges
and spurs. They are recognised as earthworks or as cropmarks on aerial
photographs, or as combinations of both. The evidence of excavation and
analogy with associated monuments demonstrates that their construction spans
the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been re-used
later. Current information favours the view that they were used as territorial
boundary markers, probably demarcating land allotment within communities,
although they may also have been used as trackways, cattle droveways or
defensive earthworks. Cross dykes are one of the few monument types which
illustrate how land was divided up in the prehistoric period. They are of
considerable importance for any analysis of settlement and land use in the
Bronze Age. Very few have survived to the present day and hence all well-
preserved examples are considered to be of national importance.

The cross dyke on Barpham Hill survives well and will contain important
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and
the landscape in which it was constructed. Around 500m to the north west is a
prehistoric linear boundary, the subject of a separate scheduling. The close
association of these broadly contemporary monuments provides evidence for the
different forms of land division in use on the Sussex Downs during the later
prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England

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